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Blackpool 1 v 0 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 16th February 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Match Report: Blackpool 1-0 Rochdale
Tuesday, 16th Feb 2021 21:55 by Chaff

Rochdale's slide towards the relegation zone continued with a 1-0 away defeat at Blackpool.

Dale were back in action after a rare free weekend thanks to a frozen pitch down at AFC Wimbledon as they made the short journey over the M55 to Blackpool. God I miss going to Blackpool away.

BBM and his players will have been absolutely desperate for a win in order to ease the pressure slightly, on the players but even more so the manager. Dale were edging closer to the drop zone and with many fans having turned on the manager, it was time to start turning things around in what felt like another must win game.

The team news sprung a surprise or two with Haydon Roberts dropping to the bench and being replaced by Jim McNulty despite Paul McShane being fit enough for the bench. The Dale team was:

I was surprisingly confident coming into the game to the point where I'd backed us at 5/1 on Paddy Power.

The first thing to notice about the Dale lineup was that we were playing very deep. We barely pressed the Blackpool defence, evidently deliberate.

Dale had the first great chance of the game. O'Connell played a superb long ball through and set Newby away one on one with the keeper and he couldn't lift it over Maxwell. He should score for me. A great chance and you knew we'd end up paying for it.

Just two minutes later and Dale could have been behind. He pulled off a stunning save before McNulty put in a sensational block. A real let off for Dale.

Blackpool did have the ball in the net from the resulting corner but the offside flag went up.

Blackpool took the lead on 20 minutes. It's such a poor goal to concede as well. Osho, who had struggled up to this point at right back gave the ball away with an awful clearance. The cross comes in, deep to the back post and Done gets nowhere near it when it comes back and falls to Kaikai who hits it past Bazunu to make it 1-0.

Rathbone was fouled about 25 yards out, it didn't look a foul to me but nevermind. Humphrys hit the freekick and Maxwell tips it over the bar.

Shaughnessy was next to give the ball away sloppily, his mistake saw Bazunu pull off a good save to ensure the lead wasn't extended.

A half devoid of much creativity really came to an end and Dale were 1-0 behind.

Humphrys was struggling to get into the game but was set clear by O'Connell with another good long ball but he couldn't get the ball under control at all and it went out for a goal kick.

With an hour gone, BBM made the first change with Baah coming on for Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy in all honesty hadn't done much. A few nice simple passes but does look off the pace and looks a similar type of player to Morley in many respects.

Eight minutes later and Dale made a double sub with Osho and Done making way for McLaughlin and Keohane. Osho had been awful at right back, really struggled whereas I don't think Done did that badly apart from needing to do more for the goal.

Dale had a glorious chance on 77 minutes when a Newby cross was met by Keohane at the back post but his header went wide. A great chance and he absolutely has to hit the target and will be gutted he didn't score.

Dale were certainly doing more in the final third in the second half but Maxwell had yet to make a save. In making ourselves more difficult to beat, we lost all out threat it seems.

Rathbone had the ball in the back of the net with a looping head but the referee had blown for a foul on the keeper in the build up.

A boring second half eventually came to an end and Dale were beaten again, this time without looking like scoring too often at all.

A definite change in style tonight but one that left us devoid of attacking threat and the fact is, if we can't score goals, we can't stay up.

A poor showing and a poor result again leaves Dale with just 1 win in 11 games and having lost 4 of our last 5 games. Dale now lie in 19th, just a point from the drop zone and having played two more than AFC Wimbledon and more games than Wigan and Burton.

This next two weeks are huge with games against Plymouth, Northampton and Burton. All winnable games and two of them against teams below us. Will BBM be given the chance to turn this around? At the moment we only look to be going one way.

Player Ratings:

Gavin Bazunu - 7 (Couple of good saves, did well overall)

Gabriel Osho - 4 (Awful, based on that, I don't want him at right back ever again)

Eoghan O'Connell - 7 (Contender for man of the match. Did much better)

Jim McNulty - 6 (Didn't do badly at all, great block in the first half)

Matty Done - 6 (Did ok but felt he didn't do enough to stop the header coming back across for the goal)

Aaron Morley - 5 (Poor, infuriating seeing him offside in stoppage time coming back from taking a corner, had very little impact on the game)

Conor Shaughnessy - 5 (Looked off the pace, few mistakes in possession but his height is an asset)

OLLIE RATHBONE - 7 (My man of the match, thought he broke up play better than anyone else and worked harder as well)

Alex Newby - 5 (Offered next to nothing)

Matty Lund - 5 (Didn't win a single header I don't think. Wasted up front)

Stephen Humphrys - 5 (Poor as well. Offered very little and doesn't seem his usual self)

Bench:

Kwadwo Baah - 6 (Tried to get forward and worked hard in defensive areas)
Ryan McLaughlin - 7 (Much better down the right when he came on, makes a big difference)
Jimmy Keohane - 5 (Great chance to score wasted)

Photo: Action Images



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